Air Fryer French Fries From Scratch UK

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When it comes to delicious snacks, few things can beat a plate of perfectly crispy and tasty fries.

While traditional fries are deep-fried, there’s a healthier and more convenient way to enjoy them using an air fryer!

They offer a guilt-free alternative to deep frying, producing fries that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

french fries

Choosing the Right Potatoes

The foundation of great fries starts with choosing the right potatoes.

While various potato varieties can be used, certain types are better suited for fries.

Russet potatoes are a popular choice, thanks to their high starch content, which gives the fries a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior.

Yukon Gold potatoes are another excellent option, providing a buttery flavour and a creamy texture.

Whichever variety you choose, opt for potatoes that are firm, smooth, and free of sprouts or blemishes.

Know Your Spuds -The Ultimate Potato Guide

Preparing the Potatoes

Begin by washing them thoroughly under cold water.

Peel the potatoes if desired, although leaving the skin on can add extra fibre and nutrients.

peeling potatoes

Once peeled, cut the potatoes into evenly sized sticks, approximately ¼ to ½ inch thick.

Aim for uniformity in size to ensure even cooking.

You can use a knife or invest in a French fry cutter to speed up the process.

Do I Need To Soak The Potatoes For Air Fryer French Fries?

Soaking the potatoes before cooking is an essential step to achieve a good result.

Soaking helps remove excess starch, resulting in crispier fries.

Place the cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water and let them soak for about 30 minutes.

This will also prevent the fries from sticking together during cooking.

Drying the Potatoes

After soaking, it’s important to thoroughly dry the potatoes before cooking.

Excess moisture can hinder the crisping process, so use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to pat the potatoes dry.

Ensure that they are completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

Seasoning The Fries

One of the best things about air fryer fries is the ability to season them to your liking.

While simple salt and pepper can go a long way, don’t be afraid to get creative with your seasonings.

You can add a variety of spices like garlic powder, paprika, chilli powder, or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for extra flavour.

Spray the fries with your cooking oil of choice. This will help the seasoning to stick to the fries.

Toss the fries with your chosen seasonings in a bowl, ensuring that each fry is evenly coated.

Preheating the Air Fryer

Before cooking the fries, it’s essential to preheat your air fryer.

Preheating ensures that the fries cook evenly and achieve that desired crispiness.

connected air fryer

Consult your air fryer’s manual for specific instructions on preheating times and temperatures, as they can vary between models.

In general, preheating the air fryer for 5 minutes at 200C / 400F should be fine.

How To Air Fry French Fries

Now it’s time to cook the fries!

Place the seasoned fries in the basket, making sure they are in a single layer for even cooking. Avoid overcrowding the basket, as this can result in unevenly cooked fries.

Air fry the fries for approximately 15-20 minutes at 200C / 400F shaking the basket or gently flipping the fries halfway through.

The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your fries and the efficiency of your air fryer, so keep an eye on them to avoid burning.

Air Fryer Fries Cooking Times

  • Skinny fries: cooking time 10-13 minutes
  • Thicker fries: cooking time approx 20 minutes.
  • Frozen store-bought French fries: cooking time approx 20 minutes.

Achieving Extra Crispy Fries

If you’re looking to take your fries to the next level of crispiness, there are a couple of techniques you can use.

One method involves lightly coating the seasoned fries with cornflour before air frying.

The cornflour forms a thin layer on the outside, resulting in an extra crunch when cooked.

Alternatively, you can try double frying your fries.

Cook them at a lower temperature, around 160C / 325F, for the first round, and then increase the temperature to 200C / 400F for a final crisp.

Both techniques require some experimentation to find the perfect balance of texture and flavour.

Crispy fries

How To Air Fry Frozen French Fries

  1. Preheat your air fryer: Set the temperature to 200C / 400F.
  2. Prepare the chips: Remove the frozen chips from their packaging and spread them out in a single layer. You can brush them lightly with oil or cooking spray for extra crispiness, but it’s optional.
  3. Place chips in the air fryer: Place the chips in the basket. It’s important not to overcrowd the basket to ensure even cooking and crispy results. You may need to cook the chips in multiple batches if your air fryer has limited capacity.
  4. Air fry the chips: Close the air fryer and set the cooking time. The suggested cooking time for frozen chips is usually between 15 to 20 minutes at 200C / 400F, depending on the thickness and desired crispiness. Shake the basket halfway through the cooking.
  5. Check for doneness: After the cooking time is up, open the air fryer and check the chips for doneness. They should be golden brown and crispy. If they need more time, you can continue cooking in 2-3 minute increments until they reach your desired level of crispiness.
  6. Season and serve: Once the chips are cooked to your liking, carefully remove them from the air fryer and transfer them to a serving bowl. Season with salt or any other desired seasonings while they are still hot. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use olive oil or other oils besides vegetable oil for air fryer fries?

While vegetable oil is commonly used, you can substitute it with other oils like olive oil, avocado oil, or even coconut oil.

Why do I need to shake the fries during cooking?

Shaking the fries during the cooking process is essential to ensure even browning and prevent them from sticking together. It helps distribute the heat evenly and promotes a crispy texture on all sides of the fries.

Can I reheat leftover air fryer fries?

You can reheat leftover fries.

Preheat the air fryer to around 180C / 360F, place the fries in a single layer, and reheat for a few minutes until warmed through.

Note: reheated fries may not be as crispy as freshly cooked ones.

Can I make air fryer fries without peeling the potatoes?

You can make air fryer fries without peeling the potatoes. In fact, leaving the skin on adds extra fibre and nutrients to the fries. Just make sure to wash the potatoes thoroughly before cutting them into fries.

How can I prevent my air fryer fries from turning out soggy?

To prevent soggy fries, make sure to dry the cut potatoes thoroughly after soaking. Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, as this can prevent proper air circulation and lead to uneven cooking.

Finally, follow the recommended cooking times and temperatures for your specific air fryer model.

If you enjoyed making these try my air fryer potato wedges.

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